12 Oct 2008

Mini Reviews 12/10/2008

None of us have time to review all the comics we get every week as there are just too damn many of them! Instead, we try and provide a snapshot of the weeks’ releases, mixing the good with the not so good.


ACTION COMICS #870
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank & Jon Sibal
DC $2.99


Matt C: A riveting end to the Brainiac arc that has resulted in some of the best Superman comics I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. A huge spoiler leaked out through the mainstream media before this was published, which you may or may not have spotted (and to be honest, it wasn’t too much of a surprise), but the way the momentum builds up to the scene in question is quite astonishing. It ends with Supes standing in awe of a reborn Kandor, and during those brief moments he’s no longer Clark Kent, but Kal El from Krypton, and its why he doesn’t hear his Earth name being screamed until it is too late. Absolutely brilliant work from Johns and Frank. 9/10


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #6
Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Salvador Larroca
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: After an initial burst of excellence, the first story arc concludes in a rather predictable manner - which is not to say it’s anything less than exciting, just that it promised a lot more. Characterization is spot on though and as long as Fraction stays on the title it’ll remain on my pull list. 7/10


THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS #2
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Mike Perkins
Marvel $3.99


Andy H: After the fantastic first issue of The Stand, #2 does not disappoint. We catch up on our lead characters and follow the spread of the disease from the initial outbreak and chart it's course as it moves from person to person, covering a wider area. The creative team keep the story flowing and, for me, it makes it an easier read than the novel proper. Plus there's an interview with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and two more sketches from Mike Perkins to round off one of the best books of the year. 8/10


AVENGERS/INVADERS #5
Writer: Jim Krueger
Art: Alex Ross & Steve Sadowski
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: I'm kind of starting to see how this comic can be stretched out for 12 issues, although whether Avengers/Invaders will still be worth reading by that point is another matter entirely. The artwork isn't particularly good in spite of the cracking Alex Ross cover, and for a book so obsessed with continuity, the Avengers team is all over the place. Still, there is some potential for a improvement and hopefully the remaining 7 issues will develop the more interesting plot points, such as the forgotten soldier left behind. 6/10


GREEN LANTERN #35
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
DC $2.99

Matt C: I’ve enjoyed this retelling of Hal Jordan’s origin story, even though it hasn’t exactly set the world alight, but this finale seemed to be lacking a certain something. I know there are plot elements due to be developed in the forthcoming Blackest Night storyline, but there’s not a whole lot here that leaves you on tenterhooks for what’s in store, which I was kind of anticipating thanks to the decision to place this story in the main title rather than an mini. Good, not great, but still one of DC’s best books, and another example of why Johns is far and away the best writer the company has working on its mainstream titles today. 7/10


DEADPOOL #3
Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Paco Medina
Marvel $2.99


Matt T: Deadpool is like a film sequel, you always know what you're going to get out of it plot and tone-wise. It's never serious or particularly deep, but the end result will still make you entertained. Having the title character royally take the piss out of the major Marvel event is a good gas too, and relieves the doom and gloom of the likes of Secret Invasion nicely. The artwork is just about perfect, and the exaggerated style compliments the wicked humour brilliantly. 8/10


CROSSED #1
Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows
Avatar $3.99


Matt T: After reading the introduction issue I kind of knew what to expect, but there was plenty about Crossed that still caught me off guard. The occasional horrific spread and the dramatic impact of one of the characters reaching their end was expertly paced for maximum shock value, but didn't feel like it was done for that reason alone. The rest of the issue was more like a standard survival horror book, but I'm intrigued by how the 'infected' differ from your common or garden zombies, as there're hints at far more intelligence and organisation involved than with the regular shambling dead. 9/10

Andy H: No question, this is a disturbing read. Not just because of the gore portrayed - and there are bucket loads, Ennis and Burrows pulling no punches – but it's the narrative that really got to me. The hopelessness of the situation is not lost on the storyteller. It's not all gung-ho we're-going-to-save-the-day. It's survival. It's avoiding a fight you aren't going to win. This is grim reading and not for the faint hearted. You have been warned! 7/10


MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Art: Kev Walker
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: My interest in the whole undead superhero concept fizzled out about halfway through Marvel Zombies 2, but the prospect of a new creative team having a crack at it was enough to tempt me back. It’s a somewhat different approach than before, the characters utilized are unexpected and the art is fairly creepy. I’m not totally convinced by it, but I’m prepared to see it through to completion in the hope that it’ll offer up something substantial. Not quite sure why it warrants a $3.99 price tag though. 6/10


X-MEN: MAGNETO TESTAMENT #2
Writer: Greg Pak
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: Action Comics may have nabbed the ‘Book Of The Week’ honour from me, but if I were able to award that accolade to two books, this would be the other. Not even a whiff of mutant powers this time around as it becomes more and more obvious to the boy-who-will-be-Magneto that the Nazi’s escalating persecution of the Jews is showing no signs of abating. This is probably the strongest writing we’ve seen from Pak so far and Giandomenico’s art, occasionally reminiscent of Tim Sale’s, brings the emotions of the characters’ to the surface. 9/10


THE TWELVE #8
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Art: Chris Weston
Marvel $2.99


Matt T: The consistently high quality of The Twelve has been one of the most impressive aspects of this book. Very rarely is there a drop, and the tone is consistent throughout. For the first time in the run things dipped slightly, even though for the most part the quality was still high. The only part that seriously rankled for me was the convenient manner in which Mastermind Excello pushed the story onto the conclusion hinted at in #1. I'm hoping the pace won't quicken all of a sudden to ensure that conclusion is reached in due time, as it would be a real shame to rush the ending. 8/10


X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY #2
Writer: Various
Art: Various
Marvel $3.99


Andy H: When there is already so much output from Marvel I do question the need for another series of short stories but comic-collector-mentality means I will have a look. Saying that, I thought this was a better issue than #1. The Mike Carey/Michael Ryan Iceman story continues putting poor old Bobby through all sorts of pain. Then we have a Juggernaut story by Skottie Young and Daniel Panosian that gave me a few chuckles. In a bar in the middle of nowhere Juggy is debating with the locals whether to be a good guy or bad. Favourite line from one of the locals: “Either side you pick, you still got a big bucket on your head”. Finally, the White Queen does a little soul-searching about her place in the X-Men, courtesy of Chris Yost and Paco Diaz. Nicely played out and interesting to learn a little more about Emma. All in all a mixed bag, not necessarily a must read but a good read nonetheless. 6/10

1 comment:

Matt T said...

I'm so glad I didn't pick up Marvel Zombies 3. I was vaguely interested, but my god let it die. It was entertaining a few years back, but now it's just getting too thin on the ground to warrant yet another incarnation.